IN THE LOOP- Chair of the Executive Committee

Dear Cranwellians,

Happy New Year to you all!

It has been a busy period. There are five main issues which I wish to address: Governance, the Trenchard Statue Appeal, Raising our Profile, Heritage and the 2019 Reunion. Planning for College 100, which will celebrate the Centenary of the arrival of the first Flight Cadets at Cranwell, is underway and the Assiociation will be supporting the College in this important event.


As you will recall, we have revamped the Executive Committee, to provide the firepower needed to draft policy and follow through with action. A revised Strategy Paper was approved by the Trustees in December 2018, and the subsequent Action Plan was given the go ahead. I should mention that in the past, we have struggled to maintain a sound base for finance, membership issues and the like. To ensure this area gets the attention it deserves, the Trustees have approved a modest budget to recruit and pay for a part time book keeper/membership clerk; this should help our volunteer officials enormously.

Trenchard Statue:

Against our initial target of £140K, we have achieved revenue, including Gift Aid, of nearly £100K, which is most encouraging in view of the project timescales. However, we do need a final push to get us across the line, so I would be grateful if those who made pledges but who have yet to contribute, would kindly do so; for others who were doubters, I hope your faith in our ability to deliver the project is no longer an issue, and that you will consider making a contribution. Visit the web page HERE to see how easy it is. On the work side, Mike Horton and I recently visited the sculptor’s studio to discuss funding, timescales and specifications. Subject to some minor adjustments to the original maquette, we hope to give approval for the next stage, final design and construction, early in the New Year. One issue remains: securing Planning Permission, which is complex. Fortunately, Phil Rodgers, who lives close to Cranwell and was in the past College Secretary, has kindly agreed to act on our behalf. We remain confident that we will have a fitting memorial to our Founder in place for unveiling during College 100.

Raising our Profile:

So far, the CA has been actively engaged in CAS’s Leadership Conference (aimed specifically at Stn Cdrs), and the Senior Air Commanders Forum (1/2-star level). Additionally, we have secured agreement to forge a stronger relationship with the Tedder Academy (Leadership in the RAF) and No 601 Squadron, which was reformed to include membership from Academe, Industry and the Service to provide better guidance to commanders at all levels. I will report more fully on these initiatives in the next bulletin.


Since March 2017, CA volunteers have been restoring and cataloguing the contents of the College archive at the back of the library, comprising some 40,000 items of varying historic value; that work was completed in October last year. Our focus now is to utilise the content and to create a suite of albums - hard copy and electronic - that will graphically record the evolution of our College, decade by decade, recounting key personalities, events, training statistics and milestones that underpin our heritage. During 2019, we shall be working alongside College HQ staff to plan and support the work for their ‘Project College 100’. We have already received some wonderful individual contributions from Cranwellians (former cadets and staff), to add to the suite of albums under way. However, we are always grateful for more and also, if you have the spare time, any support you can give to the projects that will be rolled out in 2020. So, do keep an eye on our web site for announcements and in particular the College 100 page which will be added soon.

CA 2019 Reunion:

The Cranwellian Association Reunion Weekend will take place on 15-16 June 2019 at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell. Central to the weekend will be the traditional celebration of comradeship and good fellowship enjoyed by members, old and new, together with the opportunity to engage with the Officer Cadets of today. The joint organising team from the Association and the College is in place and has already booked important elements.  As in previous years, our aim will be to take forward the “magnificent cocktail of solemnity, smiles and sports”.  

This is your weekend, we will, as always, welcome your input to help us make it a weekend to remember.

The RAF Today:

As promised, we have with the support of ACAS secured agreement for a 6-monthly update on RAF activities.

The first edition is now published on our website  I trust you agree that it is most informative and well-produced.

I hope you will agree that the Association is making significant progress, steered very much by the vision of our President, Sir Mike Graydon, and made possible by the dedication of our Trustees and the Executive Committee. We are open to any comments/suggestions/advice; just email me at

On behalf of the Trustees and the Executive Committee, I wish you all a healthy and prosperous New Year.


Sir Christopher Coville Air Marshal (Retired)

CA Trustee and Chairman of the ExCom and Trenchard Statue Appeal






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1 Jan 2019